Belfast Telegraph

Policeman slams 'officers knew what they were getting into' comment by Nolan caller

'I knew I wasn't going to be a real life Lethal Weapon'

A PSNI officer has hit back at comments saying those in the police knew what they were getting into and should "stop whinging".

Chief Constable George Hamilton sparked widespread discussion after he told a Twitter user to "dry your eyes" and stop "wallowing in self pity" during a late night discussion on the modern day duties of a police officer.

The story was debated on the Stephen Nolan Radio Ulster show. One third generation police officer outlined how he had been "broken" by service in the PSNI. He described how he would sit in caves just to get away from people.

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While some have had sympathy with police others have sided with George Hamilton. One caller on Nolan said police officers should know what they are getting into when they sign up and they should "suck it up" and "stop their whinging".

One Lisburn and Castlereagh police officer has taken the time to respond to the comment.

He wrote on Facebook: "Like the majority joining the police, my knowledge of what I was getting into was limited.

"Of course I knew I'd be dealing with assaults, arresting people, traffic collisions etc. Don't get me wrong, pursuits and busting drug dealers hold their appeal but I also knew I wasn't going into a real life Lethal Weapon but joining a professional and accountable profession and be in a position where I may have to make decisions that can affect people's lifes.

"I like my colleagues, am not that naive not to realise that when we joined this job that parts of it was going to include what many would consider the horrors of life.

"It didn't take long before having to witness a family fall apart as their teenage daughter was receiving CPR after hanging herself and a wife scrambling to get to her husband in a smashed up car who's already dead."

The officer continued: "I've watched as colleagues have returned from a cot death keeping a brave face but needing to take that little bit of time to themselves with a cup of tea before continuing on, because the calls don't stop and the next person looking us, through no fault of their own, doesn't think what we've just came from.

"Yes, we've been trained for certain events, incidents, call them what you may, but talking to that role player or doing that course does not prepare you for the reality of some of what we have to deal with.

"People have left because of it and many have "that call" that stays with them whether they talk about it or not. To ask for more help, to feel under pressure at times, or that things are just getting too much and being affected by what we do is not whinging, it's human."

The officer added: "In the end we are just like you, we are not flawless, we are not emotionless and at times some of us may need help too. What job someone does should not matter."

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